Creative Sandwiches with Gardenia’s The Next Big Sandwich Hit 2014

Gardenia’s The Next Big Sandwich Hit 2014 elimination round happened last September 25 at White Space in Makati. It is an inter-university sandwich-making competition encouraging students to exhibit their creativity and talent in the craft of sandwich-making.

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5 Bonfire Restaurant Dishes You Shouldn’t Miss

A bonfire is not only found at the beach front encircled by a group of people for an activity, it is also a new restaurant where people can gather for a simple get-together or a  celebration.

Bonfire Restaurant

Bonfire Restaurant

Replacing Sumosam at the Greenhills Town Center, Bonfire Restaurant opened just a few months ago offering straightforward comfort-food. Although they are slowly getting known for their steaks and baby back ribs, I love them for their pizza more.

Here is a straightforward list of Bonfire dishes you shouldn’t miss: at Bonfire Restaurant

1. Shrimp, Mango, and Alfalfa Salad

Start your meal right with the Shrimp, Mango, and Alfalfa Salad (P185) as appetizer. It’s a handful toss of fresh shrimp, mango, and alfalfa salad combination good for 2 persons. It will clean your palette ready for the main dishes.

Shrimp, Mango, Alfalfa Salad

Shrimp, Mango, Alfalfa Salad

2. All-in-One Pizza

The All-in-One Pizza is similar to the super supreme pizza which you are familiar with, only better. Topped with ground beef, olives, button mushrooms, bell pepper, and more, It’s a really tasty treat priced at P340 per serving.

All-in-One Pizza

All-in-One Pizza

3. Bonfire Grilled Chicken Pizza

And when you thought you already had All-in-One Pizza above, it just gets better with the Bonfire Grilled Chicken Pizza (P295). The chicken strips complemented well with the cheese on thin crust highlighted by the brown sauce you can see from the photo. I wasn’t able to confirm though if this was some kind of barbecue-related sauce.

Moreover, it was odd to find grapes slices on a pizza but they’re not bad at all. This is actually the flagship dish in this list; at least for me. It was not named after the restaurant for nothing.

Bonfire Grilled Chicken Pizza

Bonfire Grilled Chicken Pizza

4. Pan Seared Creamy Dory and Spinach Fillet

And now for the first main dish – the Pan Seared Creamy Dory and Spinach Fillet. Seemingly shy and covered with crispy spinach leaves, the soft dory came with a rich cream sauce and mashed potatoes on the side.

Although a bit expensive at P305 for its size, the taste and symphony of flavors made it all worthwhile.

Pan Seared Creamy Dory and Spinach Fillet

Pan Seared Creamy Dory and Spinach Fillet

5. Baby Back Ribs

And now for the big boys, you should not leave Bonfire without having a serving of their Baby Back Ribs. The pork ribs are delightfully tender smothered in rich hickory barbecue sauce. It will remind you of your mother’s home-cooked recipe.

It is also served with mashed potato, sweet corn, and some veggies on the side.This one goes for P385 per serving.

Bonfire Baby Back Ribs

Bonfire Baby Back Ribs

Bonfire Smores

Bonfire Smores


A meal is not complete for NomNom Club with out desserts. So we tried Bonfire Smores and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.

The former had chucks of roasted marshmallows in between graham crackers topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of chocolate syrup. P125 per serving.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I prefer the latter however. Although it is almost doubly expensive at P210, the cheesecake-and-cream melody was almost perfect and light. It was a seemingly suitable ending for the heavy pizza and ribs.

Greenhills Town Center (near Gilmore corner Aurora Blvd)
#2 Granada St., Barangay Valencia, Quezon City

Chef Tristan Encarnacion

Chef Tristan Encarnacion

Cheers to head chef Tristan Encarnacion of Bonfire restaurant. I’m certainly going back even just for the pizza!

SM Hypermarket Super Chefs Final 12!

Out of 60 participants only 12 were chosen to battle out for the coveted title of SM Hypermarket Super Chef.

Housewives, culinary academicians, call center agents, kitchen crew members, restaurant owners, bankers, and retirees faced off in live cooking challenges a few weeks ago. The 12 finalists will battle it out in the four final rapid-fire final rounds that will determine who will be hailed as the SM Hypermarket Super Chef.  To make the competition more intense, the challenges will be televised over the Asian Food Channel.

Eddieson de Ocampo, Reynilo Peña, Aiza Mesina and Dante Cabalona compose the Northern SM Hypermarket branches.

Eddieson de Ocampo is a former champion of 2009’s Super Chef Challenge and a college professor who teaches HRM and Culinary Studies at Fernandez College in Baliwag. Finalists Reynilo Peña from North Harbor and Dante Cabalona from Marilao share a profession – both are successful carinderia owners who are seeking to make their mark on the Filipino culinary scene. Aiza Mesina is a professional events coordinator.  One of the youngest competitors at 22, Aiza dreams of owning her own food business someday.

SM Hypermarket Super Chefs - 6 of Final 12

Aiza Mesina, Angelo Cervantes, Islagel Gellidon, Eric Dizon, Dante Cabalona, and Eddieson de Ocampo (L-R, T-B)

Chefs from the Southern division of branches comprise of Islagel Gellidon, Leah Alava, Angelo Cervantes, and Louie Dumangas.

Some people were practically born with a spatula in their hands, like Islagel Gellidon, who learned the art from her grandmother and has pursued this passion and owns and operates a catering business while passing on the tricks of the trade to other aspiring entrepreneurs as a TESDA trainer.

Leah Alava, a homemaker with four children, attributes her ever-improving skill in the kitchen to her kids’ unbiased judgment of her cooking.

Angelo Cervantes’ family’s construction business specializes in the perfect mix of concrete, stone, and steel, but he would much rather concentrate on the perfect blend of spices for the dishes he whips up with a BA in HRM the College of St. Benilde.

Las Piñas branch representative Louie Dumangas is no stranger to the professional kitchen, having learned how to cook in his parents’ carinderia and then going on to become a line chef at TGIFriday’s.

To completing the roster for the Super Chef competition are the four chefs from the Central District branches, namely Mark Anthony Mejino, Eric Dizon, Josephine Portulin, and Roselle Manzano.

Mark Anthony Mejino is a culinary student of the Culinary Institute of Aristocrat, and at the tender age of 24, had already studied in Macau and worked there at an Italian restaurant.

Eric Dizon is currently the Assistant Head Chef at Gerry’s Grill Pasig who begun his cooking career with his first job at Ihaw-Ihaw along Tomas Morato when he was only 22.  Although he began his restaurant career as a busboy, Eric requested a transfer to the kitchen, and the rest is history.  Next year, diners at Gerry’s Grill Makati will hopefully have the pleasure of being able to sample his cooking, as he was offered to be the restaurant’s new Head Chef when the management found out he made it to the finals.

Josephine Portulin is an educator from Lucena, majoring in Economics. When she discovered that she has a gift for cooking, it wasn’t always smooth sailing – in fact, it was an employer’s negative feedback about her cooking that inspired Josephine to study cooking in earnest and improve her dishes.

The final finalist is no stranger to competition.  Eton branch’s representative, Roselle Manzano, won 3rd place at ABS-CBN’s National Food Showdown in September 2009, whipped up an amazing chicken burger that bagged first place at the Healthy Heart cooking competition held by the Philippine Heart Association, and won 3rd place for her ham sauce in Purefoods Ham Millenium Contest.   A dietician and a nutritionist, she works as a corporate chef at Trilogy.

SM Super Chef Finalists

Leah Alava, Josephine Portulin, Roselle Mendoza, Reynilo Peña, Louie Dumangas, and Mark Anthony Mejino (L-R, T-B)

The battle to become a star of Filipino cuisine is on! Catch SM Hypermarket’s Super Chef Challenge every Wednesday on the Asian Food Channel (AFC) beginning August 25 at 6:30 PM with host Chef Tristan Encarnacion. It has replays on Saturdays at 6:00 pm.

SM Launches Super Chefs 2010

Imagine how it would be like to have Iron Chef, American Idol, and Survivor rolled into one cooking competition? That is how this year’s SM Super Chefs will be.

SM Hypermarket recently launched its latest edition of the Super Chef series by turning it into a reality show where participants can create their own versions of Adobo, Kaldereta or Menudo to be submitted with a proof of purchase in appointed Hypermarket branches.

SM Super Chefs 2010

SM Super Chefs 2010

Are you a housewife, a culinary school owner, a carinderia cook, or a food blogger like me? It doesn’t matter because Super Chefs is open to anyone who can cook, be they students or professional chefs.

The competition is divided into three stages: the audition, elimination, and grand finals.
The Super Chefs grand finals will be aired on the Asian Food Channel and hosted by Chef Tristan Encarnacion.

To get qualified for the audition round, interested participants just need to present a P1,000 single or accumulated purchase from any SM Hypermarket inclusive of the sponsors’ product together with your cooked dish on the submission day. Throughout the competition, their creations will be judged by celebrities Winnie Cordero and the country’s top chefs like Reggie Aspiras, among others.

The SM Hypermarket Super Chefs Grand Winner will take home a kitchen showcase worth P100,000 and go on a 4-day all-expense-paid trip to Singapore for a culinary training. Runner-ups will also win a P50,000, P25,000, P15,000 or P10,000 SM gift certificates.

The contest runs from May to July 2010. For details, visit any SM Hypermarket branch, log on to, or like Super Chefs on Facebook.

Super Chef Complete Contest Mechanics:

1.Contest is open to all cooking enthusiasts.
2.To join, just present a P1,000 single or accumulated purchase from SM Hypermarket, inclusive of at least one product from the following sponsors:
3.The contest is composed of 3 stages: audition, elimination and finals.
4.Criteria for judging:

  • 50% Taste
  • 25% Originality
  • 15% Plating/Presentation
  • 10% Affordability

Audition Stage

•Create your own version of Adobo, Kaldereta or Menudo and submit the finished product with proof of purchase at the appointed Hypermarket branch (see schedule below. You may submit as many dishes and join in any branch.

Submissions will be accepted from 2 pm to 4 pm.
June 15 – Centris Station, Valenzuela
June 18 -  Marilao Molino, Sucat, MOA

June 16 – Bicutan, Pasig, Clark
June 19 – Novaliches, Mandaluyong
June 30 – Makati, North Harbour

June 17 РNorth EDSA, Las Pi̱as, Taytay
June 23 – Muntinlupa, Rosales, Baliwag
June 25 – Fairview

•Three (3) winners from each branch will be chosen (or a total of 60 winners) who will qualify to the next round.

SM SuperChefs Cooking Competition

SM SuperChefs Cooking Competition


•The 60 winners will be clustered into 3 branch locations and will be competing in a live cook-off at SM Hypermarket
•Contestants will be given 45 minutes and a P250 budget to shop for ingredients and prepare a dish using a secret ingredient which will be revealed on contest day.
•Four (4) winners from each cluster (or a total of 12 contestants) qualify for the Finals.


•In the grand finals, contestants will be grouped into teams of 3.  They will go through four (4) rounds,  each preparing “themed” dishes (themes will be revealed on contest date) good for 6 persons.
•Contestants will be eliminated as each round progresses until only two (2) are left.  They will then face off for the grand prize.
•The Finals will be aired over the Asian Food Channel (AFC) and will be hosted by Chef Tristan Encarnacion.
• Super Chefs 2010 winner will receive aP100,000 kitchen showcase and a 4-day, all-expense-paid trip to Singapore for Unilever Cuisine Training.

Join SM Super Chefs 2010!